Though slightly outdated, Robert Saucy's (pronounced Socee) work still stands as one of the best-written works to date on a biblical doctrine of the church. I will try to be brief here because this work covers so much ground. I will respond to three points his work touches upon.
First, Saucy explains clearly the three main approaches to church government: Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and Congregational. Though the author favors and stands with the final of these options, he does see helpful elements in each perspective and affirms that scripture does not dogmatically say which form was strictly employed by New Testament teaching and practice.
Since my tradition aligns with his, that of the Bible Church Movement and Baptist Congregationalism, I tend to favor his views of church government and leadership. Do I think it always works? Absolutely not. In fact, I think our present culture calls for a revising of our approach to church government and structure. A reassessment needs to be done in this area since this idea of authority has been so fleeting in congregational churches. I think Saucy would agree. Because of this, I tend to favor the Presbyterian, elder-rule government structure. I think it gives clearer testimony to the authority invested in those he has "called" to vocational service.
Though I agree with Saucy's definition of "calling" and "vocational leaders" (you'll need to read his work to get a full picture here), I feel that it still fails to do justice to the idea of church authority (or leadership) of a congregation. Though I love concepts of the Brethren movement (both open and exclusive), just as an example, I simply cannot see how those types of movements (or independent congregations) have lasting impact in rapidly-changing cultures. There is no connectivity, no "visible" authority to lead as the extended incarnation of Christ on earth (meaning his church). The gift of pastor/teacher being defined as just something "anyone can do" who allocates their full time (to paraphrase Saucy loosely) tends to depreciate the authority vested in the care giver of Christ's local body. I would agree in principle with what Saucy is saying. I hold to the priesthood of the believer so I absolutely agree in principle. But in practical application this idea of "anyone can be a pastor" tends to depreciate the gift of pastor/teacher. It is clear that every Christian has been called to vocationally serve Christ, the church, and the world (Eph. 4:1), but not every person is given the gift of pastor/teacher. Once again, I agree with all of what Saucy says in principle, I just don't think this approach (congregational autonomy from other local bodies) works well in our present culture.
Secondly, Saucy does an excellent job speaking on church sacraments and the church as a mystery entity in God's program in human history. Saucy is clearly Dispensational (though he clearly aligns himself with the Progressive movement, 1986-present) in his approach and understanding of the nature and purpose of Christ's church. I find much similarity in my thinking here and appreciate his thinking which highlights a system of greater discontinuity than most give. Believe me, I love my brothers and sisters in Christ who hold to different perspectives, but I really feel like this approach puts biblical-redemptive narrative and history together more succinctly.
Thirdly, his beliefs in the sacraments are largely symbolic, but tend to add an element of "real presence" as Calvin and the Reformed community have traditionally held. In the end, he lines up more with the "memorial" view and non-conformist tradition. I honestly don't mind either view as I think either can be defended from scripture well.
In conclusion, I really don't think there is a more helpful introductory book for men and women preparing themselves for church ministry (in whatever form that might be). Though the book stands as an "academic", it is written in an assessable way and is readable. It deals with a teaching that has been really misconstrued within the present church, simply, "What is the Church?" and "What is its life and function?" Overall, I still believe this book is one of the best on Protestant ecclesiology. The Christian church truly is indebted to Robert Saucy for his contribution to this area of thinking. An excellent work meant to be read, reread, and referenced time and again.